Monday, February 26, 2024

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - February 27 Press Conference concerning euthanasia for mental illness.


MEDIA ADVISORY

Press Conference: Tuesday February 27, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Parliamentary Press Gallery – Room 135B West Block

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) is hosting a press conference on February 27 at 10 a.m. in the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

Speakers will include human rights lawyer Garifalia Milousis, Montréal Family Physician, Dr. Paul Saba, Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the EPC and the Hon. Ed Fast, who sponsored Bill C-314, the mental health protection act that would have amended the law to prevent medical assistance in dying (MAID) for mental illness alone.

Bill C-62, the bill to postpone the establishment of MAID for mental illness alone, passed in the House of Commons and is being debated in the Senate. The EPC urges the Senate to pass Bill C-62 but it is our position that Canada’s MAID law must be amended to prevent MAID for mental illness alone.

Garifalia Milousis is a 27-year-old lawyer who has struggled with depression. After the passing of Bill C-7 in March 2021, which permitted MAID for mental illness alone, she decided to tell her story. Garifalia believes that unless you have experienced mental illness, you cannot understand how patronizing it is to hear people distinguish between MAID and suicidality.

Dr. Paul Saba will state (in French) that 90% of people who attempt a suicide and receive treatment do not want to die. Most psychiatrists do not support euthanasia (“MAID”) for mental illness because of their concern for their vulnerable patients. It is also impossible to decide whether a mental health condition is irremediable.

Following the press conference there will be a rally on Parliament Hill from 11 a.m. until 12 noon. There will be time to personally interview the rally speakers.

Participation in the question and answer portion of this event is in person or via Zoom, and is for accredited members of the Press Gallery only. Media who are not members of the Press Gallery may contact pressres2@parl.gc.ca for temporary access.

Seuls les membres de la tribune parlementaire peuvent participer à la période de questions et réponses, qui aura lieu sur place et via Zoom. Les médias qui ne sont pas membres de la tribune parlementaire peuvent communiquer avec pressres2@parl.gc.ca pour obtenir l'accès temporaire.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Contact: Alex Schadenberg at 519-851-1434 or email alex@epcc.ca

Friday, February 23, 2024

EPC-USA Disability Rights Statement in STRONG OPPOSITION to New York Assisted Suicide Bill


Dear Members of the New York Assembly:

The EPC-USA has already submitted testimony regarding the social harms attached to assisted suicide legislation like A995A. However, given that assisted suicide’s negative impact is going to fall primarily on the disabled community, the EPC felt that we should submit a more detailed analysis of how assisted suicide undermines disability rights, and whose advice on this matter ought to be heeded by members of the Assembly.

Members of the EPC board with training in the fields of disability studies and advocacy have noted that some assisted suicide advocates are trying to hijack disability rights for their own purposes. For instance, an able-bodied man named Christopher Riddle has done pro-assisted suicide advocacy in New York while presenting himself as a “disability rights advocate.” Riddle is a colleague of Udo Schuklenk, one of the architects of Canada’s euthanasia program, and Riddle enthusiastically approves of that program.

Moreover, Riddle’s theories about disability rights have been reasonably criticized as lacking any empirical grounding in the experiences of disabled people. He has no experience or personal stake in the practical implications of his ideas.

Furthermore, Riddle’s scholarship dehumanizes disabled people who are harmed by assisted suicide; he frames anyone who might be harmed by assisted suicide as the equivalent of a car accident statistic. He asserts that harm that assisted suicide might cause for people with disabilities “ought not to be of special concern.” Hence, Riddle is willing to sacrifice people with disabilities for the right to die movement’s agenda; he is not the “disability rights advocate” he claims to be.

For a more accurate understanding of how the disabled community has approached the issue of assisted suicide, we encourage you to watch a video created by disability studies ethicist Harold Braswell about disability rights opposition to assisted suicide. Braswell has studied the right to die issue extensively.

There are other very important facts that legislators must take into account when considering how assisted suicide is impacting the disabled community:

The American Association of Suicidology made a 2017 statement saying that “MAiD” was not suicide. But in 2023 the AAS had to retract that statement because it was used in the 2019 Truchon decision that expanded assisted suicide to disabled Canadians, which was opposed by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.The consequences of the AAS’s statement are an example of how green lighting assisted suicide for the terminally ill easily results in violence against people with disabilities.

In 2021, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of People with Disabilities asserted that all assisted suicide laws violate its Convention On The Rights of People with Disabilities.

Peer-reviewed research establishes that people are more likely to view suicide as acceptable if the victim is disabled, and people with disabilities often lack access to comprehensive suicide prevention care. This bill exacerbates that problem by laying the scaffolding for “MAiD” to become a substitute for the suicides of persons with disabilities.

Well-known right to die leader Thaddeus Mason Pope has tweeted that it’s good for disabled people to die by suicide; the director of Compassion and Choices appeared on Dr. Phil with Pope in 2023. If you pass this bill, you empower and reward a contingent of people who want disabled people’s suicides to be a “medical procedure.”

We urge you to allow A995A to die this session because regardless of its content, it rewards a movement that is hostile to people with disabilities. Exacerbating the oppression that disabled people already face so that the proponents can plan their deaths is unwise and unjust.

Sincerely,

Meghan Schrader, Disability Rights EPC-USA

Josephine L.A. Glaser, MD.,FAAFP

Colleen E. Barry, Chairperson

Kenneth Stevens, MD

William Toffler, MD

Gordon Friesen

Alex Schadenberg

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Hawai'i expanded their assisted suicide law in 2023. Hawai'i assisted suicide deaths are increasing.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Hawai'i assisted suicide deaths have continually increased since legalization. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition expects greater increases in 2023
based on the fact that Hawai'i expanded their assisted suicide law in 2023 by passing House Bill 650.

According to the Hawai'i assisted suicide data, there were 55 assisted suicide deaths in 2022, which was up from 49 in 2021. We don't have the 2023 Hawai'i assisted suicide data yet.

For instance, California's assisted suicide deaths increased by 63% in 2022, after they expanded their assisted suicide law (Article).

As stated in an article that I published last year, (HB 650) expanded the Hawai'i assisted suicide law by reducing the waiting period, allowing non-physicians to approve and prescribe assisted suicide and expanding who can counsel someone for assisted suicide. HB 650 was signed into law on June 2, 2023.

HB 650 reduced the assisted suicide waiting period from 20 days to 5 days and it allowed the waiting period to be reduced to 48 hours when a person was deemed to be "near to death."

HB 650 also allowed non-physicians to approve and prescribe assisted suicide drugs and it expanded who was able to counsel a person who is considering assisted suicide. The expansion of assisted suicide providers was deemed necessary because very few physicians were willing to participate in assisted suicide.

Hawai'i, like most states that have legalized assisted suicide, passed their original assisted suicide law with "safeguards" that were designed to persuade legislators to vote for the bill.

Hawai'i debated and defeated assisted suicide bills almost every year until 2018, when the sponsor of the assisted suicide bill, included more "safeguards" than the Oregon law resulting in the bill passing.

The very first Hawai'i assisted suicide report (2019) included a push to remove "safeguards" in the law. I stated in my commentary that:

Even though assisted suicide was legal for less than one year, the assisted suicide lobby is promoting two options for expanding the assisted suicide law.

Hawai'i is the best example of how the assisted suicide lobby will support a "tight" bill to legalize assisted suicide and soon after introduce a bill to eliminate "restrictions."

More information on this topic:

  • The assisted suicide lobby wants to legalize assisted suicide in your state and expand it later (Link).

EPC-USA - Contact New York elected representatives to oppose assisted suicide bills.


EPC – USA needs you to Contact elected representatives or members of the respective Health Committee's that are considering New York assisted suicide Bills (A995/S2445).

Choose one or two of the following points to state why you oppose assisted suicide.

Some of the reasons to Oppose Assisted Suicide.

  • The Safeguards in the bill are part of a bait-and-switch tactic. Nearly every state that has legalized assisted suicide, soon after, expanded their law.
  • The data shows that it's not about pain, but the fear of pain, the unknown, or challenging depression or feelings of hopelessness. 
  • Not necessarily a peaceful death. The data shows that many of the deaths are painful and “burning” and often last a long time, with the longest recorded assisted suicide death being 104 hours. 
  • There are cases of Insurance Companies denying care. 
  • Studies prove that legalizing Assisted Suicide Spawns More Suicides and suicide attempts.  
  • Marginalized people understand how Assisted Suicide can be pressured upon them rather than actual care. 
  • As the cheapest state-sponsored “treatment,” assisted suicide diminishes patient choice and takes away patient autonomy. 
  • Mistakes, Abuse, coercion. Elder abuse is a common problem already and will worsen with death making. 
  • Assisted suicide combined with a struggling healthcare and home care system is a deadly mix for people who are economically poor, lonely, elderly, disabled, and historically marginalized in the healthcare system.

Contact Your Legislator

State Senate

NY State Senator contact information. (Link to the Members of the NY Senate).

NY Senate Health Committee: (Link to the Standing Health Committee).

State Assembly

NY State Assembly contact information (Link to the NY Members of the Assembly).

NY Standing Committee on Health:  (Link to the "Standing Committee on Health")

More information on this topic:

  • The assisted suicide lobby wants to legalize assisted suicide in your state and expand the law later (Link). 
  • The Nationalization of assisted suicide in America (Link).
  • Vermont assisted suicide deaths more than quadruple (Link).

Zoom Meeting (March 14): Euthanasia in Canada. What's Next?

Join the Zoom meeting on Thursday, March 14 at 2 pm (Eastern Time) (11 am Pacific Time) 

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Kathy Matusiak Costa, Director of Compassionate Community Care and Ottawa human rights lawyer, Lia Milousis will discuss - Euthanasia in Canada. What's Next?

Register in advance for this meeting: (Registration Link). 

Lia Milousis
Lia has become an expert on euthanasia based on her professional and personal experiences.

Kathy Matusiak Costa will discuss the direction of Compassionate Community Care and its programs that provide training and support for community groups and families.

Alex Schadenberg
Alex Schadenberg will speak about the direction of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

By Thursday March 14, we will know the status of Bill C-62, the bill to postpone the implementation of euthanasia for mental illness alone until March 2027.

We will discuss the problems and opportunities for Canadians to stop euthanasia.

Rescind Canada's euthanasia law as a social experiment gone bad

Dear Mr. Holland

Mark Pickup
Canada’s Medical Assistance In Dying (MAiD law has been a disaster for Canada’s disabled citizens. It was passed in 2016 but quickly morphed into something that targets people with disabilities who are not terminally ill. (This was expected, and the government was warned by disability groups before the law was passed.) The numbers of yearly killings continue to rise at an alarming rate. The MAiD law is, quite simply evil. See the link below to an article I wrote for the American publication The Human Life Review, titled: “Evil advances In increments”. (Link to article).

Rescind the law as a social experiment gone bad. The opening of the euthanasia net to include the mentally ill has been postponed twice (now it’s March 2027). Move the resources MAiD represents to affirmative action to improve the lives of the disabled.

After 8 years, the provinces know how much they have paid for MAiD. Take the varying provincial amounts off federal/provincial transfer payments and redirect it to positive solutions for life with dignity of Canadians with disabilities and their families. Thank you.

Mark Davis Pickup
Beaumont, AB.

Mark Holland is Canada's Minister of Health. 

This letter was reprinted with permission from  Mark Pickup.